How much Vitamin D do we need

What Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a nutrient you need for good health. It helps your body absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks for strong bones. Together with calcium, vitamin D helps protect you from developing osteoporosis, a disease that thins and weakens the bones and makes them more likely to break.

What is Vitamin D Deficiency (VDD)?

Having too little vitamin D in the body leads to Vitamin D Deficiency. A deficiency in vitamin D can result from inadequate exposure to sunlight, inefficient production in the skin, not enough vitamin D in your diet, and health conditions that can affect it including, gastrointestinal disorders, renal diseases, and liver diseases.

Though Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) is quite common in general population, the truth is most people are unaware about their status. The benefits of Vitamin D are mostly known for its skeletal effects, however, there are recent mounting evidence of non-skeletal effects of this sunshine vitamin.

What are the symptoms of Vitamin D?

Most common VDD symptoms are
  • Fatigue
  • Bone and back pain
  • Mood changes
  • Hair fall
But studies reveal that vitamin D deficiency can also contribute to below among many others-
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Cancers
  • Respiratory infections
  • Inflammatory disorders.

How much Vitamin D do we need?

Experts recommend at least 600 IU of Vitamin D intake as a daily requirement for adults who are not Vitamin D deficient. Moreover, skin can produce vitamin D by getting 5 to 10 minutes of sun exposure 2 to 3 times a week.

What are the Dietary Sources of Vitamin D?

Dietary sources such as salmon, sardines, dairy products, mushrooms, egg Yolks and Vitamin D fortified foods are rich sources of this vitamin.

If these measures are insufficient to maintain optimum serum levels, Vitamin D supplements may be the answer. However, being a fat-soluble vitamin, unsupervised intake of Vitamin D can cause toxic effects if doses above recommendation is consumed.

Sindhu Susan Mathew, MSN, CPHQ
Clinical Education Manager,
Al- Futtaim Health, United Arab Emirates

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